Culture shift needed for successful federal hiring

Scott Cameron, Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector Practice

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Federal News Radio has been telling you about a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thorton: Closing the Gap: Seven Obstacles to a First-Class Federal Workforce.

Earlier this week, the Federal Drive spoke with John Palguta of the Partnership, and now the DorobekInsider gets perspective from the Partnership’s Tim McManus, and Scott Cameron, director in Grant Thorton’s Global Public Sector Practice.

McManus says the purpose of the report was to get the attention of decision makers.

“The goal of doing this is to really draw attention to those issues that are most on the minds of these CHCOs and HR directors so that both government itself can focus on it, but [we] can also focus on it inside federal agencies. OPM and OMB can [also] focus on some of those issues. . . . This is actually coming directly from those HR leaders. . . . I think this is their opportunity to say autonomously, ‘These are some of the issues we’re facing and if we don’t actually get some of these things right it’s going to be very, very difficult for us to produce and maintain a first-class workforce’.”

Cameron explains that one of the most interesting finds from the report has to do with the need for culture change.

“For decades folks who were working in the federal human capital community who were HR specialists had to deal primarily with a culture of compliance. Their job was to make sure . . . that managers were following the letter of the law, and that was their primary concern. Over the last several years, I think the expectation of federal managers who are not in the HR space have changed. They want the federal HR community to be partners with them in mission accomplishment. So, the federal HR community needs to go through a culture shift where fulfilling the mission of the agency is really the ultimate goal. The challenge, then, is to do that in a way that complies with all the appropriate laws and regulations, [with] an end outcome of helping those line managers accomplish the mission of the agency.”

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